IHG is expanding its footprint in Saudi Arabia with the signing of Voco Makkah in partnership with local real estate development company Maad International. The property will be the second Voco hotel in the country following the signing of Voco Al Khobar earlier this year, and the chain's fourth hotel in the city.
When it opens early next year, the property is expected to be the largest Voco in the world and will target religious tourists. The 4,200-room hotel will take IHG’s portfolio in the country to more than 19,500 rooms, making IHG one of the largest hospitality players in Saudi Arabia.
Voco Makkah will be part of the Maad Hospitality Towers Development, a mega mixed-used development that includes restaurants, lounge areas, event halls and separate male and female prayer halls. The new hotel is within walking distance of Masjid Al Haram, and will include more than 20,000 square meters of dining and meeting facilities.
Pascal Gauvin, managing director, India, Middle East & Africa at IHG, noted religious tourism in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach 30 million visitors by 2030, making new developments necessary.
IHG currently operates 92 hotels across seven brands in the Middle East, with 38 in the development pipeline due to open within the next three to five years.